Bdeloid rotifers are microscopic animals. They have skills that a superhero would envy. You can’t just withstand freezing. The quality of this species is amazing. It’s the animal that frozen 24,000 years ago.
Slept on ice
These multicellular animals can endure cryptobiosis for tens of thousands of years. The metabolic state is almost completely stopped ». He explains this in the journal “Current Biology” Stas Malavin from the Pushchino Laboratory of Cryology (Russia).
They specialize in isolating microscopic organisms from the ancient Siberian permafrost. They are deploying an oil rig in some of the most remote places in the Arctic. They reported a 30,000 year old roundworm. They regenerated mosses and some plants after being trapped in ice for many thousands of years.
The animal that frozen 24,000 years ago is a rotifer. For this reason, this species is included in the list compiled by the laboratory.
Looking for the answer
Once thawed, the rotifer was able to reproduce in a clonal process known as parthenogenesis. You could resist the ice crystal formation that occurs with slow freezing. They have a mechanism to protect their cells and organs from damage at extremely low temperatures.
“As such, a multicellular organism can be frozen and stored for thousands of years. And then come back to life, ”says Malavin. The more complex it is, the harder it becomes to keep it alive, frozen.
It’s not clear what it will take to survive on hold for even a few years. It is a subject that requires further study. They will continue to explore the arctic specimens in search of other organisms that are capable of this cryptobiosis in the long term.
They hope this research will have other uses. For example, how to cryopreserve cells, tissues and organs of other animals, including humans.